Somebody asked MB today how the whole Paris thing was being viewed out here in the Middle East and was it subject of as much discussion as it is back home?
Obviously it’s horrific etc etc etc. MB has seen almost every profile on facebook change to the French flag. Nice, of course, to show affinity and sympathy to the innocents and to those left behind. MB didn’t change his profile. He just didn’t see the point. He has many Syrian and other local friends who know his views. So he just didn’t feel the need to engage in flag-waving.
Those who have followed MBs blog for a few years will be aware that MB started writing about the Syrian war in the first week it kicked off in the town of Deraa. MB was working with a young Engineer from Deraa at the time and got much information direct from the streets from him. In the intervening four years or so MB has written many additional pieces on Syria, trying to make sense of it all for those viewing from afar. MB can distinctly remember a friend saying to MB on one of his visits back home that he could not possibly believe that 500 people per week could be dying in the conflict. MB explained that it was true. Week in week out. 500 people getting killed. Give or take. Now, in mid-November 2015, about 300,000 in total. Give or take.
And now everyone back home can see how quickly a very large number of people can get killed when evil wants its way, coupled with modern killing equipment. Very quickly indeed.
Over 40 people were killed in Beirut on the previous day, but it didn’t grab as many headlines as Paris. Neither in the Middle East nor back home. Many blame the Western public for not caring as much about non-Western deaths. But no apology required MB thinks. When something awful happens closer to home, it impacts more. Just human nature. The fact that those closest to the mayhem of the Middle East are not shouting much more about the awfulness out these parts just shows how far into the hopeless abyss many have sunk. Can anybody blame hundreds of thousands of the brighter and more educated for wanting to head Westwards for a better life. MB does not think so.
There is much more MB could say about it all, but he just doesn’t feel up to it at the moment. It’s time for peace. MB has spent the last two days not watching much TV at all, avoiding the inevitable analysis and depressing conversations that inevitably follow such events. Instead, he is listening to Enya quite a bit on YouTube. To relax the brain and feed the soul to some degree. And to bring a sense of peace.
So may you have peace. Assalamu alaikoum – literally.
From the homeland: